We invite you to visit our Environmental Science Job Board located on the first floor of the newly renovated Lennon Hall. The Job Board is updated daily by the faculty and staff of the Environmental Science and Biology Department. The board contains information about jobs, internships and graduate assistantships in the various areas of environmental science.
If you want to see an informative perspective from an employer regarding resumes and cover letters, please click here.
Here is a list of environmental job sites on the web
Environmental Jobs Websites
ECOLOG: Sponsored by the Ecological Society of America (many job/intern announcements and much more). To subscribe, send mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU with the command (paste it!) in the e-mail message body: SUBSCRIBE ECOLOG-L
Texas A&M Wildlife Job Board: Most jobs are wildlife focused, but there are others listed for some far-off and sometimes highly desirable locations. http://wfsc.tamu.edu/jobboard/
The Wildlife Society: http://careers.wildlife.org
Society of Wetland Scientists: Continually adds new job announcements. Check out the links under Additional Job Sites and U.S. Government Job Sites at the bottom of the page. http://www.sws.org/jobs/
Conservation and Land Management Internship Program: http://www.clminternship.org/
Additional Job Sites :
The Chronicle of Higher Education - Academe This Week
The Job Seeker - Environmental and Natural Resource Jobs
Sarasota County, Florida - Job announcements
U.S. Government Job Sites :
Australia and New Zealand:
http://www.conjobs.co.nz/ (New Zealand)
http://www.unijobs.co.nz/ (New Zealand)
http://www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/decra.htm (Australian ARC DECRA awards, 200
across all science, open to non-citizens)
http://csiro.nga.net.au/cp/index.cfm?event=jobs.home (CSIRO, Australian
Environmental jobs in Australia
Science jobs in Australia
Australian Wildlife Society
New Zealand Government Jobs Online
NEW ZEALAND JOB SEARCH
NZ Ecological Society
Plant & Food
WWF NEW ZEALAND
http://www.gfoe.org (mainly scientific jobs are posted here). Gfoe
is the Ecological society of Germany.
www.greenjobs.de (good for germany, also non--scientific jobs in Ecology)
http://www.academics.de/ (usually require a higher degree)
German Zoological Association (Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft),
Ethologische Gesellschaft (Ethological Society),
http://listserv.uni-heidelberg.de/science-jobs-de/sjd-e.html (a listserv in Germany for academic jobs in Biology)
http://www.stellenboersen.de/stellenboersen/spezial/biologie (overview of existing job databases/search engines)
http://www.sfecologie.org/ecodiff/ (French, but postings cover all of Europe)
www.jobs.ac.uk (United Kingdom)
Use Journals to specify location for a job search:
Recommendations for Job Applicants in Field Biology
Earlier this year I advertised for a field biologist position. Not having gone through this process before, I told the 80+ applicants from all over the US and Canada that I would share my personal observations/comments/and recommendations once I put them together. I'm sure there are hundreds of resources out there to help prospective job applicants prepare their resumes and applications, but you can add this one to the list. I have tried to generalize my recommendations where possible, and hopefully folks will find this helpful.
Write well. Although the job is a field position, writing is unavoidable, and I certainly value writing skills for anyone who wants to grow into a more significant position. I rated (1-5) every cover letter on basic writing skills such as flow and cohesiveness, word choice, use of punctuation, basic grammar, spelling, etc. I scored them somewhat generously, and the mean score was 3.2 (SD = 0.83). I considered scores of 1-2 inadequate and pretty much automatically disqualified nine applicants based solely on that criterion. Interestingly, only three applicants scored a "5", and two of those were the only applicants that were not biology majors (one was a former lawyer and the other a professional nature writer).
Learn how to use a semicolon (;) and avoid run-ons, fragments, and poor transitions. A paper I used in graduate school that addresses transitions and organization very well is The science of scientific writing (George Gopen and Judith Swan. 1990. American Scientist 78: 550-558.) The application of this paper is much broader than its title suggests, and any applicant who has ever followed their general suggestions would have automatically scored at least a "4", even if their grammar and spelling were relatively poor. Of course, there are many writing aids out there, including other people; use them. Remember that your cover letter may be your only significant exposure to your potential employer, so write it well.
Convey enthusiasm, but don't rely on punctuation! Applications dripping with enthusiasm are hard to ignore, and I felt obliged to really consider those applicants who seemed eager and willing to work in just about any conditions. There was one applicant in particular whose enthusiasm seemed particularly genuine and palpable, and I made an extra effort to try to hire her even though she had little experience.
Customize your cover letter. At a minimum, please address all, or at least most, applicant requirements if you are responding to specific job ad. Yes, the broadcast method can work, but those are usually detectable a mile away. Remember that your employer probably doesn't mind feeling special, too. I ranked (1-5) each application on content, the primary factor being responsiveness. Cover letters that were generally non-responsive indicated a lack of real interest in the job; the one that addressed me as a completely different person also didn't score too highly. Overall, the mean score was 3.1 (SD = 1.03). There were nine applicants that scored a "5", and 14 that scored a "4".
Use your cover letter as an opportunity - perhaps your only chance - to discuss your qualities, skills, etc. that are desired by the employer yet not easily revealed or discernable from a resume. Sharing your personal and professional goals and dreams can also be very useful, but only if they are specific. Statements such as "I want to get more experience" are not useful.
Many folks use an Objective heading on a resume, but it's entirely extraneous and usually awkward. Instead, make your objective known in your cover letter.
Everyone should consider including their GPA - especially if it's >3.0-3.5.
Demonstrate, don't dictate. Several applicants listed skills that were belied by their own application materials. It's fine to list your skills, but save those for things that you really can't otherwise demonstrate or discuss in a cover letter or resume. If you can write well, demonstrate it, don't say it. If you have word processing experience, then I would expect to see a nicely formatted resume and other supporting documents. If you're passionate, convey that without stating it.
Consider including references, even if unsolicited. I never would have thought of this one, but 2-3 applicants included unsolicited letters of recommendation, and I thought that was a great idea. It's a good way to distinguish your application from others. Be careful, though; it may be that some government agencies don't want the additional materials (but I wouldn't know).
Don't truncate your resume based on page length. If it's relevant, include it.
Include contact information for all relevant work. This is another suggestion that I have borrowed from the handful of applications that had contact information listed for every single job. That's very professional and sends a strong signal that either someone has had repeatedly positive experiences and/or that they are comfortable dealing with any former experiences that were less than idyllic. Similarly, leaving off contact information for your most relevant experience could send up a red flag.
Please put your name on every page; it makes it easier to read your application.
Fancy paper is completely unnecessary. Yes, I've used it too, but I'm not sure why. What kind of person/business makes hiring decisions based on paper?
Stay visible if you remain interested in the position. If you accept a job elsewhere, inform other employers considering your application as soon as possible, even if they haven't contacted you.
If you are asked a question, please answer it, don't avoid it. If you do not answer, it sends a bad signal that you may not be professionally responsive. Likewise, if you have a question or are uncomfortable with details, communicate. Not communicating those questions sends a signal that you might not be able to deal well with conflicts.
If you want to be a field biologist in the private or non-profit sector, it is definitely to your benefit to own a 4WD vehicle. Small pickups are usually very adequate (and sometimes ideal), but some low clearance AWD models can be limiting.
Wildlife & Conservation Ecologist (&Adjunct Professor)
Williams Wildland Consulting, Inc. (& Sierra College)